Budapest Events Calendar 2012

Spruce up your Budapest holiday with some of the amazing and fun events taking place in Budapest – a few ideas have been gathered in Budapest Events Calendar 2012 by Top Budapest Travel Guide

Budapest Events Calendar - agenda view

Budapest Events Calendar – agenda view

Each day Budapest has something peculiar to offer, so enjoy Budapest nightlife, live music at bars, cool concerts, classical music events, contemporary dances, sports events like Budapest Formula 1 this summer, or the upcoming Hungary – Netherlands Qualifying Match in September 2012.

Pick a concert, a musical, an exhibition or a gastronomy festival with great wines and traditional Hungarian foods. Pick any genre and you will definitely find something which appeals to you.

Budapest Events Calendar is quite flexible, although it may take some time to download all the events (which is not even a comprehensive list of Budapest events!)

Budapest Events Calendar in agenda view – it is the default view. But you can also take a look at the upcoming events in a monthly overview, which is especially useful if you are planning your Budapest trip in advance. Mind you, many many events are not published until 2-3 weeks before they start (especially smaller concerts and parties).

Budapest Events Calendar in calendar view – if you click on the little calendar icon in the upper left hand corner, you can switch to calendar view in this neat little Budapest Events Calendar

Budapest Events Calendar - calendar view

Budapest Events Calendar – calendar view

Budai Gourmet Festival 2012 – Foodies Welcome to Budapest!

Now the Budai Gourmet Festival is coming at the beginning of June again to make all foodies, locals and foreigners happy in Budapest.

Budai Gourmet Festival Budapest

Budai Gourmet Festival Budapest

The even better news is that you can watch all the Euro 2012 games right at the festival venue on huge outdoor screens, plus enjoy the gourmet foods and drinks, probably the best bites and sips Hungary can offer. There will be lots of jazzy – folksy concerts too to make you really feel relaxed.
The venue is one of our favorites in Budapest: Millenaris Park, a contemporary cultural complex, almost at the foot of the Castle Hill (a 15 min walk down from the Buda Castle District).

Please enjoy! June 8 – 10, an amazingly good event to put down in your calendar for your Budapest trip.
Oh, and almost forgot, you can take a look at the detailed program of the 2012 Budapest Gourmet Festival here

Le Bourbon Restaurant: French Cuisine in Budapest Le Meridien Hotel

Le Bourbon Restaurant located in downtown Budapest Le Meridien Hotel, one of the five-star luxury hotels in the capital of Hungary, serves high-end French cuisine. The restaurant has been picked by Chew, the Hungarian food blog amongst its ever-changing Top-33 list, which helps tourists to find the best restaurants in Budapest, Hungary. Le Bourbon boasts about being “the only restaurant in Budapest to offer a cheese trolley with 10 varieties of fine French cheese delivered weekly from the famous market halls of Paris.” Le Bourbon’s executive chef, Laurent Vandenameele is French and although the menu is French too, there is a ‘Hungarian Night’ on Fridays from 7pm (accompanied by a folk dance show).

Le Bourbon Restaurant: French Cuisine in Budapest Le Meridien Hotel

Address: Erzsébet tér 9-10., Budapest, 1051
Phone: 00-36-1-429-5770
Opening hours: Mon-Sun 12:00 – 22:30
Note: the restaurant is within the luxury hotel Le Meridien, in the very heart of the city. Attire: elegant. One of the best Sunday brunches in Budapest (12 pm – 3 pm).
Getting here: metro (all lines) Deák tér station

See the location of Le Bourbon Restaurant on the Budapest Tourist Map (check the yellow house map icon in the middle, and click on the knife and fork icons for further great restaurants or to learn more about the neighboring places of interest. You can also click on the View Larger Map blue link under the map). Notice that Le Bourbon Restaurant is very close to Váci utca shopping street, Roosevelt square with the Chain Bridge & the Gresham Palace as well as St Stephen’s Basilica, which is also ideal for taking panoramic photos of Budapest.


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Read more about the Best Restaurants in Budapest.

Vásárcsarnok in Budapest: Central Market Hall

Vásárcsarnok (Central Market Hall) in Budapest offers a great rustic market experience in a beautiful building: you can buy several Hungaricums, as well as organic vegetables, home-made andouille sausages, salamis, pastries, etc. Great place for buying gifts, souvenirs (e.g. Szeged or Kalocsa paprika, embroidered tablecloths, blouses, Hungarian spirits like Zwack Unicum, cans of goose liver, various Russian dolls, etc.). As you can see all sorts of people here Vásárcsarnok (say: vaash-are-char-knock) is also a great place for people-watching! Here’s a photo of Budapest Vasarcsarnok on a less busy day:

Vasarcsarnok Budapest Central Market Hall on a less busy day

What is worth trying?
Tastes differ, but for a gastronomical tour you may wish to try the following foods, dishes, drinks:

  • Lángos (say laan-gosh) is a sort of salty fried dough, usually served with sour cream and grated cheese (Tip: put some garlic dip on top of the lángos, under the sour cream & cheese toppings, to make it even tastier). Don’t look at the calories, enjoy the little vice of your taste buds! :) Lángos is a great favorite of Hungarians especially in summer between two dips in the water on beaches and lidos (e.g. at Lake Balaton, on Csillaghegyi Strand, etc.)
  • Goulash soup: forget the canned versions of goulash and try the real Hungarian goulash for authenticity. It is filling and great with some spicy paprika.
  • Organic fruits: try some organic fruits produced in Hungary. I suggest the wide variety of apples, pears, apricots, peaches, plums. Yummy. They might not be huge & pleasing to the eye, but they are not watery, they are really full of flavor.

Opening hours: Mon: 6.00 am – 5.00 pm, Tue-Fri: 6.00 am – 6.00 pm, Sat: 6.00 am – 3.00 pm, Sun: closed
Address: Vámház körút 3, Budapest Hungary
Phone: 00-36-1-366-3300
Getting here:

  • Trams/ streetcars: number 2, 47 or 49
  • Metro: blue line, get off at Kálvin tér stop and walk towards the River Danube for about 5 min.

Vásárcsarnok, Central Market Hall on the Budapest Tourist Map (see the yellow basket in the middle):


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Video of Budapest Central Market Hall
Here’s the video made for budapestinfo.hu:

If you are absolutely in the shopping mood in Budapest, here’s a great map for Budapest Shopping,, nothing else but shopping: ranging from wine shops through designer jewelry or hats to fake 18th century umbrellas on the Ecseri flea market. The different types of shops and stores are color and symbol coded, which hopefully will save you time, money & headache. For example, click on the symbol of a Cocktail Glass for wines, spirits, palinka etc.


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History of Vásárcsarnok Budapest

The idea of establishing a central market hall came in the 1860s. In fact, the idea was not simply to have a well organized venue for selling foods and farm produces, but also to improve the quality of products by ensuring quality assurance standards in the new market. The newly formed Food Committee put together a proposal in 1883 to establish market halls. They chose the present venue of the Central Market Hall in Fővám Square, on the site of the Salt depot. The location was very logical as it could be easily accessed from the River Danube, by rail, by wagons, or on foot. As the plot was the property of the state treasury, “the royal government relinquished the plot for the sake of the capital”, according to the history of Vásárcsarnok. There was a tender for design announced in 1892. The most practical design came from Samu Pecz, and basically the Central Market Hall was built from 1894 to 1896.

design from 1893 for Vásárcsarnok Central Market Hall Budapest
Samu Pecz’s design for the Fővám Square front (1893

Just ten days before the completion of the market, however, there was a sudden fire breakout, which caused serious damages. The investigation into the fire accident, which lasted for a whole year, could not reveal what caused the fire. Then Samu Pecz started the repair works, this time with additional structures in order to increase safety. Petz worked with well established names in the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy, like Schlick (iron foundry making the steelwork for the building), or Zsolnay (making the pyrogranite coloured ceramic roof tiles), etc. The Central Market Hall finally opened its gates in 1897. The Central Market Hall supplied goods both to the capital and the countryside, and people were not always satisfied. Clients often complained that traders lacked manners and cheated with the measures.

Zsolnay tiles on Vásárcsarnok roof, Central Market Hall Budapest
Zsolnay pyrogranite loft ventilation caps and chimney pots on the Fővám Square front

The Association of Market Hall Traders established in 1897 was formed to solve such problems, come up with better rules to create a fair competition. However, when World War I broke out and the market police disappeared from the Central Market Hall, prices surged, so police had to be called back to resume order. Unfortunately, in WW2, the market hall was heavily damaged. Despite reconstructions in the 1960’s, the pillars of the building badly deteriorated, so the market hall was closed down in 1991. Vásárcsarnok was reopened as a protected monument, and a city favorite in 1994. Now you can hear the market hall clocks play Zoltán Kodály’s folksong tune, “I went to the fair…” every hour.

Are You a Bela Bartok Fan?

If you are a Bartok fan and you like time travel in a beautiful environment in the tranquil part of Budapest, you must see Bela Bartok’s house turned into a museum, now called the Bela Bartok Memorial House. The good thing is that it is more than a museum: in 1981, there was a concert hall established on the first floor by connecting the adjacent rooms and the staircase. The house itself was built in 1924.

Bela Bartok Memorial House Museum in Budapest

The museum will take you back in time on two levels: one on the civil level and the other on the folk art level. As you know Béla Bartók was one of those of handful of composers who took up his boots and went from village to village with now weird and cumber some equipment to collect original folk songs in the Carpathian-basin . Not only he, but also Zoltán Kodály. You can evoke Bela Bartok, as the museum site writes:

the man who wrote his masterpieces, the Sonata For Two Pianos, the Contrasts, the Divertimento for Paul Sacher and the Chamber Orchestra of Basel, and the Violin Concerto dedicated to Zoltán Székely in the middle of the thirties right here, in this tiny upstairs workroom, originally protected against the noise of the outer-world by cushioned doors.

Just listen to this lively and gentle re-interpretation of folk music! The title is Rumanian Folk Dances. In a true multicultural style, the piece is performed by the gypsy Rajkó Orchestra in the Jewish Synagogue in Budapest.

What’s more the museum is located in a beautiful green hilly part of Budapest on the Buda side. Here is the map locator:

Opening hours: 10 am to 5 pm (Tue- Sun) (Closed on Mondays)
Entrance fee: 800 HUF (or free with Budapest Card)
Getting here: Go to Moszkva tér by the red line metro. Then take the number five bus & get off at Pasaréti tér.


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More about upcoming Concerts on the Bartok Museum official site.